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Top Five 2011: Vancouver (City) v Ward

Each year at OJEN’s Toronto Summer Law Institute, a judge from the Court of Appeal for Ontario identifies five cases that are of significance in the educational setting. This summary, based on these comments and observations, is appropriate for discussion and debate in the classroom setting.

Vancouver (City) v Ward, 2010 SCC 27, [2010] 2 SCR 28

Vancouver and British Columbia Police violated the Charter rights of the claimant due to an unreasonable search.  As a result, the trial judge awarded the complainant damages for the Charter breaches.  In this case, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) considered whether government actors can be made to pay financial damages to individuals after infringing upon their rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  The Supreme Court wrote, “damages may be awarded for Charter breach under s. 24(1) where appropriate and just,” and that in this case, they were justified in giving damages for the illegal search [para. 4]. The full decision is available here.


Date Produced: 2011

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